Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF) kicked off the qualifying phase for the highly anticipated Qatar’s Strongest Man competition (QSM) 2017, taking place from 24-25 November in Aspire Park.
Now in its fifth year, the first round of tests began with a series of
rigorous health and physical assessments for this year’s Qatari and
expat sports enthusiasts keen to demonstrate their power and speed in
the hope of being selected to qualify for this year’s ultimate strongman
Only the strongest and fastest entrants who successfully complete the
physical assessments, which comprise of challenging tasks including
200-kg-weight lifts and a 20-metre walk while carrying 120kg in each
arm, will be chosen to compete in this year’s competition.
Last year’s defending champions in the Qatari and expat categories,
Qatari Fahad al-Haddad and Kenyan giant Christopher Oketch, were seen
among the entrants being assessed on the first day of the testing round.
Speaking on the sidelines of the testing event, 41-year-old defending
champion Fahad al-Haddad praised Aspire Zone’s logistical capabilities,
saying their commitment to organise a great tournament encourages him to
return each year.
He added: “For me, sport is more to do with mental state rather than
physical attributes that could be slowed by age, so I will keep
returning to defend the title as long as I am fit and capable and in the
competing frame of mind. For youngsters wanting to get into
bodybuilding or strength training I encourage them to participate in the
Meanwhile, Christopher Oketch, spoke about his preparations for this
year’s tournament, saying: “I exercise four days a week, follow a
consistent workout plan and consume a high-calorie diet. I expect this
year’s competition to be more challenging, so I’ve been preparing for
over sixth months to gain more muscle.”
There were a few new faces among the entrants who showed remarkable
potential, including Qatari participant Abdulaziz al-Kuwari, who signed
up for the first time in the QSM competition.
When asked about his participation, al-Kuwari said: “I’ve been hearing
about this competition for a while. My coach, who’s been taking part in
the competition for the past three years, encouraged me to participate,
saying how fun and thrilling it is to compete against such strong
contestants It’s a great event and helps promote the sport itself and
Qatar as sporting nation.”
QSM will see Qatar and expat strongmen take part in a number of challenges, including truck pulling, deadlifting, lifting sand bags, flipping giant tyres and car lifting to name but a few. Winners are decided based on a points-system, with the winner being awarded based on the speed and weight with which each challenge is completed.